Palestinian Flag 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ambassador Yossi Ben Aharon, who served as the chief of staff and close confident of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, is warning of what he calls an impending “explosion” for Israel in September, when the United Nations General Assembly is expected to recognize a Palestinian state within Israel's 1967 borders.
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In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Inside Israel, this outspoken, veteran diplomat-turned columnist criticized Israeli Prime Ministers past and present for placing the Jewish state on the precipice of what he said will be a “disaster.”
“We are paying the price of blunders that were committed by previous governments in Israel,” said Ben Aharon, citing the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and landmark speeches by Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon and Binyamin Netanyahu in support of a two-state solution. “We now have to live up to the dangers emanating from these statements because a Palestinian state...is a disaster for Israel.”
Ben Aharon discussed American-led efforts to have Israel cede
territory-for-peace, a process he believes is more aptly called
“territory for the service of American interests.” He said the approach
“may sound logical” but in fact was not a “workable system,” which
instead exacted from Israel “a heavy price more than once.”
“The Israelis have wised-up, so to speak,” said Ben Aharon. “Even for an
ally important to us we cannot take the risk of giving up some elements
of what I would describe as a 'margin of security' – territorial and
otherwise, which is vital to Israel's existence and national defense –
into the foreseeable future.”